Yesterday afternoon, my wife together with my son and maid got into an accident along CTE (I was attending a work lunch then). What happened was a tale of God's divine providence mixed with extraordinary service excellence.
My wife was driving towards the city and encountered the usual Saturday afternoon jam. Traffic was extremely heavy and crawling at a snail's pace. Unfortunately, a slick black BMW driven by a young 19 year old guy crashed into the rear of our car. He must either be driving his dad's car or distracted by his girlfriend.
The shock was so hard that the beamer's airbag popped up. Fortunately, my family didn't suffer major injuries although my maid had a swelling on her head (currently under observation) while my wife's back hurt. Both cars stopped and my wife took down the driver's full particulars (NRIC, license plate, hand phone photos of damage, insurance company, car model).
Immediately after, a circus of different "animals" descended on the scene. First were tow truck operators from accident workshops who stopped and offered help. Second, the EMAS tow truck arrived, hoping to clear up the mess from the expressway. As the car could still move, I advised my wife to drive to an authorised workshop instead.
As she drove, the rear bumper came loose. It fell to the floor partially and started to drag. A vehicle behind my wife's car signalled for her to stop and she pulled into the road shoulder.
Apparently, a loose part of the bumper hit the front light of the car behind. She immediately thought that the driver and his friend (Gary and Zack) wanted compensation. Instead, they said that the loose bumper was very dangerous especially to motorcyclists and offered to tie it back. They waved off the broken headlamp as unimportant.
Despite their best efforts, the bumper wouldn't stay on. It was then that Gary asked if our car insurance company was aware of the incident. My wife told him that our car was covered by AIG, and Gary replied that their workshop was actually authorised by AIG. Although it was his off day, he would be happy to handle all the accident related issues for us. However, it was entirely up to us if we want to do so.
After some consultation, my wife and I agreed. After all STAR Workshop was one of the reputable leading motor workshops in Singapore, owned by the ST group.
Gary and Zack drove my family back to our home where I met them. We then proceeded together to the workshop. Concurrently, Gary arranged for a tow service for the car to the STAR workshop called XCars Pte Ltd at No 15 Kim Chuan Terrace (near Paya Lebar).
We were chauffered to the workshop by Zack, who was very friendly and spoke in reasonably good English. Quite different from your typical mechanic I must say. On the way there, he told me that a replacement car was already arranged at the workshop ready for collection.
Once we arrived, all paperwork needed for the accident was done by Gary with the help of Zack. Gary handles group operations for STAR, and helped to show the ropes to Zack. I got a close up look of my car to assess the damage. It certainly looked like a few thousand dollars worth - bumper gone, rear sensors gone, and even the chasis was dented.
Professional and friendly, Gary told us that he will manage all expenses incurred under the workshop's account. We don't have to pay a single cent - no excess payment, no service charge, no doctor's fees etc. Naturally, the workshop will claim everything from the insurance company.
What's amazing was that he remembered me from our NS experiences 15 years ago even though I sheepishly couldn't recall who he was. As we spoke, my memory was slowly awakened. Soon, we regaled about the good old army days.
We next proceeded to our replacement car - a bright red Toyota Corolla Altis. This was the same model that we got the last time our car was hit! Hmm....
Zack next drove us a clinic at Ang Mo Kio Hub to make sure that everybody was all right. This was part of the service that they provided. Gary paid for the doctor's fees. He even had a photocopying machine in his car so that he could make copies and return the originals to us - on the spot!
Before we departed from Ang Mo Kio, I thanked Gary and Zack for going to all the trouble in helping us with our case. What I liked was their professional yet personal, friendly, and non-pushy approach. Even Ethan liked them and asked "Uncle Gary" to carry him a few times.
I told Gary that I will definitely share my experience and recommend his services. If you ever (touch wood) get into a car accident, just remember to call 92207212 or 62821313.
Labels: customer evangelism, customer experience, customer service, personal, word of mouth